Optimization of nanoshell mixtures for solar applications
Cole, Joseph Raymond
Halas, Naomi J.
Master of Science
The plasmon resonance in metallic nanoshells can be used to efficiently harvest solar energy and convert it into thermal or electronic form. Possible applications include improved optical coupling into silicon photodiodes, solar water heaters, and photocatalysis. We use standard optimization algorithms to theoretically determine the best mixture of different nanoshell species ([core, shell] sizes) for two practical scenarios. We show that a mixture of nanoshell species [r1, r2] = [47, 58] nm and [r1, r2] = [28, 42] run in a 6:5 volume ratio is optimal for absorbing AM 1.5 sunlight when deposited on a silicon surface. Surprisingly, we find that a single particle species is very good for scattering AM 1.5 light on a glass surface, and that very little benefit is gained by mixing different shells. Assumptions and approximations made in the analysis are discussed.
Electronics; Electrical engineering; Physics; Electromagnetics